Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic which negatively impacted global economy in 2020, shareholders of May &BakerNigeria Plc last week in Lagos at the 70th Annual General Meeting of the company, approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors for a dividend of 30kobo for every 50 kobo share held of the company.
This amounts to N517.6 million paid out for the 2020 business year. Speaking during the meeting, Chairman, Board of Directors, Senator Daisy Danjuma, said despite the very challenging operating environment in the business year under review, she was glad that the company recorded growth in both turnover and profit.
The company made a 16 per cent growth in revenue from N8 billion in 2019 to N9.4 billion in 2020 and achieved a gross profit growth of 30 per cent from N2. 9 billion to N3.8 billion while Profit Before Tax grew by 39 per cent from N901 million in 2019 to N1.2 billion in 2020.
However, the 54 per cent jump in taxation from N184 million to N283 million drastically impacted its Profit After Tax . The Company therefore recorded a net profit growth of 35 per cent from N716 million in 2019 to N965 million in 2020. Earnings per share also grew 35 per cent from 41.5 kobo to 55.9 kobo for the period under review.
Danjuma said that the company made efforts to contain the rising cost of doing business in the country but the hyper-inflation prevalent in the economy, combined with forex scarcity increased the cost of operations.
Also speaking, Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Patrick Ajahisaid theyear, 2020 was one of the most challenging, He said the company’s growth strategies showed commendable resilience and continued to gain traction, saying these were pointers to its general operating efficiency and indication that its strategies were in the right direction. “We shall continue on this growth trajectory as we hope to accomplish more audacious goals in the current business year”, he said.
Responding to the sterling performance of the company, shareholders praised the company for the steady growth in dividend paid yearly. For 2018, the company paid 20 kobo per 50 kobo share and for 2019, it paid 25 kobo and now for 2020 it is paying 30 kobo . Meanwhile, some of the shareholders commended the improvements in the operations of the company, adding that the unprecedented resilience, commitment, and hard work of the management team at ensuring the achievement of the company’s strategic objectives culminated in the success it recorded.
While speaking, Sir Sunny Nwosu commended the board and the management of the pharmaceutical company for their performance in the recent period, noting that the company must make efforts to take advantage of openings in vaccine production, on account of its existing joint venture with the federal government for local vaccine production.
Another shareholder, Mr. Matthew Akinlade expressed confidence in the new management, adding that the shareholders were hopeful that its efforts would translate into even better returns in terms of dividend payment.